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Hot Rods The Utilitarian Hot Rod, stone chips, beaters,.. what happened ???

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Harms Way, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,865

    Harms Way

    Hey guys,...

    I've been thinking lately (Yes,.. I know that can be dangerous,... And yes, I know the voices aren't real,.. But Man ! do they they ever come up with some great ideas !!!! :D). As much as I still love our old cars and traditional hot rods,.. I think back to my "good old days" as the time when I loved it the most and got the most out of it.

    I have been completely consumed recently thinking about the Hank Negley Roadster,... A car he built before the war, raced, cruised, driven across the country and kept as his,.. and his family's only means of transportation until there 3rd. lil bundle of joy arrived, and they could no longer fit into the roadster with it's rumble seat. It was reluctantly sold and a brand new Valiant took it's place around the ol' homestead.

    A very young Paula, sitting next to her dad on the seat of that shiny new Valiant looked at her dad with sad eyes and said "I liked the other car better",... He looked back at her with the same sad eyes and said,... "Yeah,.. me too". Hank never quit thinking about his old roadster and planned to build a duplicate of it until the day he passed.

    When I first started in Hot Rodding I had a daily driver 46' Coupe and a 32' Ford Roadster project in the garage I was working on,... The cars were utilitarian,.. I was always in one of them,... Eventually the 46' was sold and I picked up a 57 Ford custom 300,... Later as I got back into the work force, I always had one car in the garage and another cool car to drive, the "daily's" included a 66' Fairlane convertible, 67 "S Code" Mustang FB that ended up with a 427 side oilier in it,.. a 68' GT-500 KR Convertible,.. A couple 72' Vetts, A built up 64 El Camino.... It's a long list.

    During this time there was a number of 32-34 fords coming and going out of the garage, going to cruise nights, the hardware store, back and forth to work almost daily during the summer, and a lot of cruising on Telegraph rd. for no particular reason what so ever.

    My point being,.. The times I remember most fondly was when I had one full time driver, and one project in the garage. Now when I open the barn door, there is a sea of headlights looking back at me..... I have a hard time thinking about letting a number of them go,... But I think that would be the smart move.

    The older you get the slower you become,.. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weakened by advancing years........ What would Hank have done ?,... I think, if given the opportunity, He never would have parted with his beloved deuce roadster,.. and just kept replacing tires as he drove the wheels off of it,... He would have been satisfied with the one car of his dreams from the 1930's, seeing it come to fruition with his own skills, and the two of them serving each other until the day Hank had to leave.

    Well guys I have to give this a lot of thought,... but maybe it's time for me to get back to the time I enjoyed the most. One car as a daily driver like Hank had,.. and one car in the garage. (Maybe keep my truck to haul stuff in :D).

    Does this strike a cord with any of you ?..... Or does this just look like the ramblings of a old man ? What are your thoughts ????

    Here's Hank's Roadster in 1946 fill'n up

    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  2. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,188

    Model A Gomez

    Our car club is talking about setting up a reliability run like they did in the old days, we are looking at a 150-175 mile run with a stop at Kool Rides in Ark City in the middle. Several people were concerned about using secondary roads due to their condition, we have a member who has never washed his car, cleans it with liquid detailer all the time. Too many people think they have something special and don't want to drive their cars except to local car shows, no fun in that. I use a 30 Model A pickup as a daily driver and it sits out all the time, the 12 year old paint is starting to fail but I enjoy it more than a car I'm afraid to drive.
  3. dragrcr50
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,865


    At 64 im thinkin along the same lines, i drove a 32 cabriolet as a daily for 6 yrs fenderless big block loud and fast... but no car has ever replaced that thing I had with the 32. I am therefore starting to build a driver again as a keeper. strange that you posted this as it is just how I feel... its hell gettin old....
  4. That's pretty much my philosophy. Since I am doing quite a bit of work related travel, I am using '97 F-150 for most of the trips outside of a 200 mile radius, but otherwise, I am in my '40 coupe or the '40 stake truck that was recently handed down from my great aunt. Last year, for the almost 10 months that I owned it, I used the '37 sedan as my daily driver, racking up over 11,000 miles on it. I put over 4000 on the '40, during that period, too. Mine are drivers.
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  5. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,865

    Harms Way

    I don't think anybody ever said on there death bed,....

    "I wish I would have drove my Hot Rod less"
  6. evil clown
    Joined: Jan 15, 2006
    Posts: 269

    evil clown
    from Verona, WI

    I understand what you're saying. We get to a point in life where we can afford to keep more than one at a time. And then we gradually accumulate the cars of our dreams. But at some point you realize you've become a slave to them! I call it "maintaining the fleet". More choices, but not more fun.

    Along those same lines - some friends and I have been discussing what the "work" to "driving" ratio is on our cars. I think it's somewhere around a 3 to 1 ratio. For every 3 hours you spend working on them, you drive them an hour! Of course it's all fun, at least that's what we keep telling ourselves! :)
  7. Those are not the ramblings of an old man, at least not from where I sit. I'm 61 and have been in the game for a very long time. I have a souped up model A I drive every day I can, this is not a show car or a beater but something I put together myself my way. It goes to Bonneville most every year and a grocery getter when needed. I love it because it's mine, every nut bolt washer chop fill paint it's all mine and it's all reliable.

    I also have a scooter in my garage I fool with. My project.

    I like the fact my A is ready to go anywhere at anytime and I don't expect to give it up.

    I say if you like them all and can keep them all do just that. You won't get 'em back.

    One to drive daily is a must just to keep your sanity, another one to tinker with on the side is even better. Cheers.
  8. I think that you bring up 2 issues/topics here. 1st is that we don't tend to drive them as much as we should or could and the 2nd is that we end up getting too many going to really enjoy the 1 or 2 that we had to begin with.
    I bought my 37 gmc when i was 14 and as soon as i got it running i drove it everywhere and i didn't get anything else until i was 21. I regularly drove it back to my parents 4hrs away when i was in school and loved hearing the truckers talk about it on the cb. now part of that was i didn't have the money to and i couldn't justify until it got unsafe to drive and i knew it would take some time to fix right. that was the slippery slope for me since then i have had probably 100 or more go through my hands and i have spent time on and in them that i could have spent on the 37. i still have 15 or so and they are all in various stages of repair and the 37 is setting up on stands gutted with alot of good intentions, but the fact is i haven't really done anything to it for a year. i am also realizing that a guy can bury themselves with too many projects and i have slowly been weeding the less important ones out of the fleet. it's hard, i like them all. it took me 15 years to accumulate them all, i hope it doesn't take that long to trim the fat and get the 37 on the road again.
    now, as for driving them, there is a very very small part of me that wants that magazine/show car, but it goes away as soon as i think about the fun of driving it and the experiences i have in them. car shows are not for me, i get too bothered by the general person that attends or is part of a car show that will put down and pick apart the car that you have put your heart and soul in. i have had alot of people come up to me at everyday places that have struck up a conversation and it has always been good.
    i will say that i seemed to have more fun when i was in school and the 37 was the only thing i had. not sure if my expectations were different or i didn't know any better or what. might be that it was all new too.
    so, in short i do know where you are coming from even at 35 years old.
  9. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 45,219


    Just yesterday I finally got my first one back on the road, after 7 years of slowly piecing it back together after a wreck. I had little motiviation to work on it, because I have a few other cars, wife has a late model truck, etc.

    I think you're right, but I still can't figure out what I'd get rid of.
    Joined: Aug 7, 2009
    Posts: 2,069


    I simply just have to commit to driving what you really want to drive. Yes it take work & can be stressfull on a real daily bases. But it really doesn't take much work & its work anyone can do.

    Not like a Honda or Toyota where driving is . . . . can I say . . blank??? Point A to point B, no inbetween. "Oh? Was I just driving a car?"
  11. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 5,154


    Stuff is piling up on my hot rod to-do list because I simply want to own my slice of it all. I've got the A coupe project I've always wanted, the 26 roadster, the touring car, etc. If I had to, I'd sell off the 20 T after I had some time enjoying it but I can't see me selling off any of the three mentioned, not even to get that 36 3w I've always wanted.
  12. Intersting thought; I have the coupe and drive it often (Columbus is next on the list), have been accross country twice, many national events, Shades every year for the last 15, I also drive it locally to the 'fun' stuff. I have a 51 Vicky and I use it on weekends to run errands and meet friends for dinner, stuff like that. The Roadster is nearly done and I'll drive it the same way and I'm sure coz its new to me I'll spend a lot of time in it. I do have a 66 Mustang convertable under construction that I intend to drive daily...I'm not a biker anymore but when I get a craving its nice to fire the 60 Pan and go for a putt.
    I'm planning to retire in a couple of years and the plan is to get in the coupe and leave the house for a few months traveling around this great country and sleeping at HAMBer houses :) enjoying traditional rod runs anywhere I can find one.
    I think you can have too many, but you gotta know for yourself what that means - but I dont think you can drive them too often - liberate yourself from the save the paint fear and stop worrying about stone chips and dings...the coupe was painted in 1979 and I'm long past worrying about it and no where near thinking about painting it..
    Live to drive, drive to live.
  13. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,496


    For most of the time since I first put it together in 1973 the 48 has been my daily driver and at times the only vehicle that the family had that ran. It's sitting out beside the garage now tired and worn out and waiting for a new lease on life with a whole new attitude when it gets done this time. It will be shiny and I hope actually finished this time but it will still get driven often and far.

    I've got two other serious projects going now. One won't take much money but will take a lot of time. The other is and 8BA flathead with an S-10 T-5 behind it with no body to go into at the moment. That hopefully is the limit of my serious long term projects.

    One of my buddies is several years older than me and has enough projects stashed away that if he finishes one a year he will be 100 by the time they are done. He is one of those who seems to buy more projects rather than actually finishing the primary project he has. He has a whole back yard full of projects but no cash to finish the one in the garage.
  14. kscarguy
    Joined: Aug 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,571


    If you want to sell that "sea of headlights"... I'll take any spare duece coupes you have lying around. (grin)!
  15. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,268

    el Scotto
    from Tracy, CA

    I usually drive a 1975 or earlier car every day to work. Daily commuters have been a 1957 Chevy truck, 1970 Dodge Challenger 440 4 speed, a Model A coupe with a Mopar 383 4 speed, El Caminos, and other assorted old crap.

    I get that luxury, I live in California.
  16. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,682


    Lots of unfinished projects, not all of them are automotive. I've never had a roadworth Hot Rod, and at 61 chances are good I never will, you can't miss something you havent had. Bob
  17. slammed
    Joined: Jun 10, 2004
    Posts: 8,161


    Catch 22. Some sect's bemoan the primer crowd. The bar was raised (to fund the industry) to a ridiculously high level that the 'standard entry level' is too nice to truly drive often or very far. You would have to freshen it ($) to remain 'nice'. Looking back you know when this over the top, polished/plated/coated hobby became a keep up with the Jones's. And the magazines played everyone into buying the latest trend.
  18. h.i.
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 409

    from denver

    There are a lot of different reasons people are interested in this stuff. That said, I think many people lack the focus and ambition to actually see a project all the way through. CL and e-XXX are full of projects where "all the hard work is done". If many of these people (including me) had only one in the garage, maybe we'd finish one.
  19. Morrisman
    Joined: Dec 9, 2003
    Posts: 1,600

    from England

    I've never quite got the concept behind a hot rod that is as plush, well finished, upholstered, equipped and luxurious as a late model sedan.

    Surely a good part of the hot rod 'thing' is that the car feels and handles and rides and looks like a car of yesteryear? :confused:
  20. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,865

    Harms Way

    No Offense,.......

    But I mostly reject this philosophy,... And I do it with the car I mentioned in my "OP" The Hank Negley Roadster,... this car went from being a project before the war to a full out very nice finished Hot Rod / Race Car / Daily Transportation after WWII,... Best I can figure Hank used this car as his only means of transportation over a period of around 24 years.

    Were there primered cars back in this era ?,... yep you bet. But it was for the most part temporary,.. on it way to be a finished Hot Rod.

    This Deuce was built and re built many times and always to a high level of refinement that included several different wheel & tire combinations, Shiny deep purple paint and a nice interior, even sporting a fully chromed front suspension for most of those years.

    All while Driving it daily, racing it with the SCTA Gear Grinders,.. And going back and forth to work as well as anywhere his family had to go.

    So,... it's truly traditional to finish a nicely detailed Hot Rod and drive the wheels off of it,... which brings me to the next point. Do you guys notice that every really famous Hot Rod from years gone by was usually the owner/builders only Hot Rod ?,... Or they were only famous for that one car.

    This was Hank's car around 1945


    And again in 1947

    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  21. I am right there with you. The daily driver, a truck, and a toy would make the most sense. My objective is to empty out the shop. How many projects do you really need?
    I maintain a 2500 ftsq shop just for the "Stuff", then I have a 500 ftsq studio/garage downstairs. Dad uses the two car garage on the main floor.
  22. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,865

    Harms Way

    So lets say you can pair it down to a couple cars,.... what would they be ? What could suit your needs and desires ????
  23. pnegley
    Joined: Aug 26, 2009
    Posts: 15

    from san diego

    My dad's 32 Ford roadster for fun, and a fully restored "Woodie" for doing all the practical stuff. Sigh.
  24. Pair it down, to what? - I'd have to keep the coupe of course! And the roadster, I'm always gonna have to have a motorcycle (at times I think about getting one with electric start, nah), and after that you gotta have a project - keeps you young :)
    At this point I'm getting excited about the convertable - mustang guys are gonna hate it;)
    I guess I'm saying I'm not willing at this point in my life to give them up, too much fun for me.
  25. coupster
    Joined: May 9, 2006
    Posts: 860

    from Oscoda Mi

    Thats what I like about my coupe, it is a true daily driver when theres no salt on the road. Heck I even cheat a couple times a winter and drive her salt be damned. It really needs to be blown apart again and spruced back up, but I just can't bear the thought of not driving it for a couple a months. I worry that some day I will not be able to insure it as a daily, that would just suck for me.
  26. I have owned my Roadster for 38 years. I wrecked it 34 years ago and it sat tore apart in the garage for 25 years. countless people wanted to buy it but I said " I'm going to fix it up one day" Took a year off work and got into it. It has been on the road almost every day since I got it back together. When I don't drive it I take my late model - 1963 Ford Fairlane 500 SportsCoupe - Like many folks today and like has been said before they seem to think their cars are something special and they don't want to get them dirty!! like it is some piece of fine jewlery.
    I drag race mine all the time. when it gets dirty I just tape off the pin strip and shoot a new coat of primer on it!!!
    I could not get rid of anything no matter how old I get - I'm 64
  27. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


  28. invizibletouch
    Joined: Jan 17, 2008
    Posts: 302

    from Mobile, AL

    For some reason I really like your post. :D
  29. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,682


    I think I'm down to the keepers, but just this week parted with some automobilia I've had for over 35 years. Wish I could say it was going into the project cars, but paying bills is what has to be done. At 61 I'm finding that looking back at stuff I had, and the people and events related to them is just as good as the projects I still have. Bob
  30. Slick Willy
    Joined: Aug 3, 2008
    Posts: 3,008

    Slick Willy

    Is everybody planning on dying soon???

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